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Gadgets

Review: Two Android Wear Watches That Are (Almost) Worth Buying

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Android
Reviews
Gadgets

2015 is the year the battle for your wrist goes nuclear, as the highly anticipated Apple Watch will finally hit store shelves.

But it’s not here yet. Watches using Google’s Android Wear, however, are, and they have been getting better since they were first unveiled last June.

Two of the latest watches in the Google camp: Sony’s SmartWatch 3 and LG’s G Watch R. Both watches have unique features that help them stand out from the first wave of Android Wear devices. Sony’s watch offers a standalone GPS, while LG’s has a completely circular display.

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Firefox enters the realm of virtual reality with the Oculus Rift

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Moz/FF
Gadgets

Users of an experimental build of Firefox will be able to explore virtual reality inside the browser after Mozilla added support for the Oculus Rift headset.

People running Firefox Nightly will be able to explore 3D environments inside web pages using the Rift, following the addition of support for the WebVR API.

Virtual reality allow users to explore 3D spaces by donning a headset that tracks their head movements and allows them to look around a 3D computer-generated world.

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Ubuntu Linux is now ready to power your appliances and robots

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Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Ubuntu Linux has spread to quite a few platforms in its 10-year history, if not always successfully. Today, though, the open source software is tackling what could be its greatest challenge yet: the internet of things. Canonical has released a version of its stripped-down snappy Ubuntu Core for connected devices like home appliances, robots and anything else where a conventional PC operating system wouldn't fly. It's designed to run on modest hardware (a 600MHz processor will do) and provide easy updates, all the while giving gadget makers the freedom to customize the software for whatever they're building. It promises to be extra-reliable, too -- it only applies updates if the code checks out, so you won't lose control of your smart thermostat due to a buggy upgrade.

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Top 5 Android Smartphones — January 2015

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Android
Gadgets

We brought you our last top 5 Android list back in October and, as it’s already the first quarter of this year, it’s time to revisit that list. There are certainly some new models to discuss, the G Flex 2 was just introduced during CES 2015, for example, but we’re also just a couple of months away from Mobile World Congress, where it’s almost certain that the following phones will be replaced by the next batch of flagships.

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CES 2015: LG and Audi Smartwatch Runs webOS Not Android Wear, Release in 2016 (Video)

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Linux
Gadgets

LG showed off an unannounced smartwatch at CES and a hands-on video revealed the device was running webOS. A new report claims LG is planning to release the device in early 2016.

Most companies making smartwatches are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. Pebble uses an e-paper monochrome LCD display, which allows the device to get up to 7 days of battery life, and it's also one of the few smartwatches that supports both iOS and Android.

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LG's WebOS: 3rd Time's the Charm?

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Linux
Gadgets

LG Electronics turned up at last week's CES with a smartwatch that apparently runs webOS.

LG used the watch to unlock an Audi at the show.

"LG has never officially confirmed that we were planning a webOS smartwatch," company spokesperson Ken Hong told TechNewsWorld.

"I think that is speculation based on the watch that Audi announced here at CES, which we developed but have not finalized the OS for," Hong continued.

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Which Android smart watch is right for you?

Filed under
Android
Gadgets

In some ways, 2014 might be considered the year of the smart watch. A staggering number of watches – in styles from cool and understated to full on Dick Tracy – hit the market last year.

On the other hand, smart watches generally haven’t been a hit with consumers yet. Many people are waiting to see Apple’s take on the "wearable." The Apple Watch, announced in September, is expected to be released in early 2015.

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Blocks Wearables is building a modular smartwatch that you can customize any way you want

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

Earlier this year, a company called Blocks Wearables announced intentions to build its own modular smartwatch called Blocks. Here at CES, the company is showing off some very early prototypes and mock-ups of what Blocks might eventually look like and how it could work.

Blocks Wearables was exhibiting at Intel's massive booth on the CES show floor as one of the participants in the company's "Make it Wearable" competition — and while we couldn't actually get a sense for what using the Block will be like, we did get a good idea of how the whole modular smartwatch concept could play out.

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Round face Samsung Tizen Smart watch could be heading to MWC 2015? codename Orbis SM-R720

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Linux
Gadgets

Samsung has been spoiling us with their Tizen based Smart watches of late, and all of them have been sporting a square face, well that is upto now, as Sammobile reports that there is a Round face Tizen based Smart watch in the works. The upcoming Smart watch has the codename ‘Orbis’ and a model number SM-R720. Orbis does sound a bit orbital / round to me.

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LG May Be Dropping Google's Android For Its Next Generation Of Smartwatches

Filed under
Android
Linux
Gadgets

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that LG is planning on dropping Android Wear–Google's operating system for smartwatches–in favor of WebOS, its own operating systems found in its smart TVs. According to an anonymous source speaking to the Journal, WebOS will be used in a new line of LG smartwatches released sometime in early 2016. LG already has two smartwatches operating on Android Wear: G Watch and G Watch R.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • MX Linux Review of MX-17 – For The Record
    MX Linux Review of MX-17. MX-17 is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. It’s XFCE based, lightning fast, comes with both 32 and 64-bit CPU support…and the tools. Oh man, the tools available in this distro are both reminders of Mepis past and current tech found in modern distros.
  • Samsung Halts Android 8.0 Oreo Rollouts for Galaxy S8 Due to Unexpected Reboots
    Samsung stopped the distribution of the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system update for its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones due to unexpected reboots reported by several users. SamMobile reported the other day that Samsung halted all Android 8.0 Oreo rollouts for its Galaxy S8/S8+ series of Android smartphones after approximately a week since the initial release. But only today Samsung published a statement to inform user why it stopped the rollouts, and the cause appears to be related to a limited number of cases of unexpected reboots after installing the update.
  • Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Kevin Tian
    The Xen Project is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and contributors that are committed to the growth and success of the Xen Project Hypervisor. The Xen Project Hypervisor is a staple technology for server and cloud vendors, and is gaining traction in the embedded, security and automotive space. This blog series highlights the companies contributing to the changes and growth being made to the Xen Project and how the Xen Project technology bolsters their business.
  • Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started
    A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these "Gen 11" graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available.
  • LunarG's Vulkan Layer Factory Aims To Make Writing Vulkan Layers Easier
    Introduced as part of LunarG's recent Vulkan SDK update is the VLF, the Vulkan Layer Factory. The Vulkan Layer Factory aims to creating Vulkan layers easier by taking care of a lot of the boilerplate code for dealing with the initialization, etc. This framework also provides for "interceptor objects" for overriding functions pre/post API calls for Vulkan entry points of interest.

Logstash 6.2.0 Released, Alfresco Grabbed by Private Equity Firm

  • Logstash 6.2.0 Release Improves Open Source Data Processing Pipeline
    The "L" in the ELK stack gets updated with new features including advanced security capabilities. Many modern enterprises have adopted the ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack to collect, process, search and visualize data. At the core of the ELK stack is the open-source Logstash project which defines itself as a server-side data processing pipeline - basically it helps to collect logs and then send them to a users' "stash" for searching, which in many cases is Elasticsearch.
  • Alfresco Software acquired by Private Equity Firm
    Enterprise apps company taken private in a deal that won't see a change in corporate direction. Alfresco has been developing its suite of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) technology since the company was founded back in June of 2005. On Feb. 8, Alfresco announced that it was being acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

Servers and GPUs: Theano, DevOps, Kubernetes, AWS

  • Open Source Blockchain Computer Theano
    TigoCTM CEO Cindy Zimmerman says “we are excited to begin manufacturing our secure, private and open source desktops at our factory in the Panama Pacifico special economic zone. This is the first step towards a full line of secure, blockchain-powered hardware including desktops, servers, laptops, tablets, teller machines, and smartphones.” [...] Every component of each TigoCTM device is exhaustively researched and selected for its security profile based especially on open source hardware, firmware, and software. In addition, devices will run the GuldOS operating system, and open source applications like the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash blockchains. This fully auditable stack is ideal for use in enterprise signing environments such as banks and investment funds.
  • Enterprises identify 10 essential tools for DevOps [Ed: "Source code repository" and other old things co-opted to promote the stupid buzzword "devops"]
    Products branded with DevOps are everywhere, and the list of options grows every day, but the best DevOps tools are already well-known among enterprise IT pros.
  • The 4 Major Tenets of Kubernetes Security
    We look at security from the perspective of containers, Kubernetes deployment itself and network security. Such a holistic approach is needed to ensure that containers are deployed securely and that the attack surface is minimized. The best practices that arise from each of the above tenets apply to any Kubernetes deployment, whether you’re self-hosting a cluster or employing a managed service. We should note that there are related security controls outside of Kubernetes, such as the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (S-SDLC) or security monitoring, that can help reduce the likelihood of attacks and increase the defense posture. We strongly urge you to consider security across the entire application lifecycle rather than take a narrow focus on the deployment of containers with Kubernetes. However, for the sake of brevity, in this series, we will only cover security controls within the immediate Kubernetes environment.
  • GPUs on Google’s Kubernetes Engine are now available in open beta
    The Google Kubernetes Engine (previously known as the Google Container Engine and GKE) now allows all developers to attach Nvidia GPUs to their containers. GPUs on GKE (an acronym Google used to be quite fond of, but seems to be deemphasizing now) have been available in closed alpha for more than half a year. Now, however, this service is in beta and open to all developers who want to run machine learning applications or other workloads that could benefit from a GPU. As Google notes, the service offers access to both the Tesla P100 and K80 GPUs that are currently available on the Google Cloud Platform.
  • AWS lets users run SAP apps directly on SUSE Linux
  • SUSE collaborates with Amazon Web Services toaccelerate SAP migrations

Chrome and Firefox

  • The False Teeth of Chrome's Ad Filter.
    Today Google launched a new version of its Chrome browser with what they call an "ad filter"—which means that it sometimes blocks ads but is not an "ad blocker." EFF welcomes the elimination of the worst ad formats. But Google's approach here is a band-aid response to the crisis of trust in advertising that leaves massive user privacy issues unaddressed. Last year, a new industry organization, the Coalition for Better Ads, published user research investigating ad formats responsible for "bad ad experiences." The Coalition examined 55 ad formats, of which 12 were deemed unacceptable. These included various full page takeovers (prestitial, postitial, rollover), autoplay videos with sound, pop-ups of all types, and ad density of more than 35% on mobile. Google is supposed to check sites for the forbidden formats and give offenders 30 days to reform or have all their ads blocked in Chrome. Censured sites can purge the offending ads and request reexamination. [...] Some commentators have interpreted ad blocking as the "biggest boycott in history" against the abusive and intrusive nature of online advertising. Now the Coalition aims to slow the adoption of blockers by enacting minimal reforms. Pagefair, an adtech company that monitors adblocker use, estimates 600 million active users of blockers. Some see no ads at all, but most users of the two largest blockers, AdBlock and Adblock Plus, see ads "whitelisted" under the Acceptable Ads program. These companies leverage their position as gatekeepers to the user's eyeballs, obliging Google to buy back access to the "blocked" part of their user base through payments under Acceptable Ads. This is expensive (a German newspaper claims a figure as high as 25 million euros) and is viewed with disapproval by many advertisers and publishers.
  • Going Home
  • David Humphrey: Edge Cases
  • Experiments in productivity: the shared bug queue
    Over the next six months, Mozilla is planning to switch code review tools from mozreview/splinter to phabricator. Phabricator has more modern built-in tools like Herald that would have made setting up this shared queue a little easier, and that’s why I paused…briefly
  • Improving the web with small, composable tools
    Firefox Screenshots is the first Test Pilot experiment to graduate into Firefox, and it’s been surprisingly successful. You won’t see many people talking about it: it does what you expect, and it doesn’t cover new ground. Mozilla should do more of this.